Fratelli Perata Winery

Fratelli Perata presents Saveur’s 7-Hour Leg of Lamb

In Italy, slabs of beef are not common. But lamb entrees are a familiar treat. We are in some respects lucky right now that the economy has taken its toll on restaurants. Much of the high-end, high-quality meats are readily available at very surprisingly affordable prices. So find some young lamb from a reputable butcher or grocer. This recipe is the best I have found in 38 years as a housewife-willing-to-learn-to-cook. Presented from Saveur, October, 2009 issue. Served  with our 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva, heaven.

Lamb

1-4 lb shank end leg of lamb
3 T olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 750 ml bottle dry white wine
20 cloves garlic, unpeeled (yes, I really followed the recipe here and it works)
10 sprigs each fresh rosemary, thyme and savory
5 fresh or dried bay leaves

Beans

2 c dried white beans, cannellini, soaked overnight
5 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme and parsley and a bay leaf tied together with kitchen twine
10 whole cloves
1 large onion, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T olive oil
2 T crème fraiche

Cook the lamb: heat oven to 300 degrees. Rub lamb with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a 6 qt Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer lamb to a plate. Add wine and 2 cups water to the Dutch oven; scrape up browned bits from bottom of pot. Nestle garlic and herbs into a large oval casserole, place lamb on top of herbs, add pan juices from Dutch oven. Cover lamb with foil, transfer to oven and roast, basting frequently, for 3 ½ hours. Uncover, flip lamb, and continue to cook, basting frequently, until lamb is very tender, 3-3 ½ more hours. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the beans: About 1 ½ hours before the lamb is done, drain beans and transfer to a 4-qt saucepan along with 6 cups water, 4 cloves garlic and the herb bundle. Insert the cloves into the onion and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Remove pot from heat and season with salt and pepper. Discard herbs and strain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Transfer 2 c beans, ¼ c cooking liquid, oil, crème fraiche, and remaining garlic clove to a blender and puree. Stir pureed bean mixture and about 1 c of the cooking liquid back into pot and cover to keep warm until lamb is cooked. Serve the lamb sliced or torn into chunks, alongside the beans.

Serves 6-8, all happily with a Fratelli Perata Cabernet Sauvignon. Just an excellent pairing.